Centre for Supply Chain Improvement - Research - University of Derby

Centre for Supply Chain Improvement

The College of Business, Law and Social Sciences has a long-standing record as a Centre of Excellence in supply chain and logistics

Developing excellence within and across supply chains.

We know the importance of efficient, sustainable supply chain operations to the growth of the economy and to service the daily needs of industry and consumers.

Our relationship with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, as well as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, keeps our thinking relevant, meaningful and clear. It’s not thinking in a bubble; it’s thinking about business.

Our academic work is led by your industry needs. Our research solves real challenges and our knowledge transfer activity helps you advance your business operations. Competitive advantage in your market is our goal.

How we work

The Centre has three focuses: technology innovation, system improvement, and process re-engineering. We look vertically within the organisation and horizontally across the supply chains. 

sci how we work

An example is our work with Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which is increasingly used for unique object tagging and identification, ensuring accurate stock location and elimination of inventory count (vertical) and enhanced supply chain visibility of goods (horizontal).

Our team has expertise in systematic innovation, lean and agile manufacturing, quality management, responsive supply chain, low carbon/sustainable supply chain and logistics, cost and system optimisation, system modelling and simulation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and more.

A measure of our work’s value is in the funding we’ve secured for projects from:

  • EU FP7
  • UK EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council)
  • Technology Strategy Board
  • Manufacturing Advisory Services.

Our industrial partners include large organisations, such as Toyota, Unilever, DHL, the NHS, Tesco Express and Caterpillar, as well as a range of SMEs across different industries: logistics and distribution, warehousing, packaging, manufacturing, software development, sales and service sector.

What we offer

We explore for the most efficient and cost-effective ways to find excellence within, and across, supply chains through:

  • Short courses and training solutions (e.g. Innovation and System Thinking, RFID training, Lean Thinking Basics and Tools Applications, Statistical Process Control, Value Stream Mapping)
  • Professional skills development and work-based learning programmes
  • Consultancy and advice services (e.g. manufacturing and services performance improvement, distribution network optimisation)
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) Scheme
  • Postgraduate education – BSc/MSc in Supply Chain Improvement, PhD
  • Student projects.

We do offer PhD programme to undertake projects within the Centre and also welcome visiting scholars to join us to exchange knowledge and research finding.